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No

Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders

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(Debora Robinson, Getty Images)

The Kontinental and National Hockey Leagues don’t have a transfer agreement in place that ensures the respective leagues honour the other’s contracts. What they have is an understanding, which sounds suitably Godfather-esque. This memorandum of understanding simply lays out the expectation that the two sides will respect contracts – you have your territory and I have mine – without it actually being illegal for a player to bolt one league and play for the other.

That’s why when there were rumblings that some players were planning on staying in the KHL even after the lockout ended, there was some concern that they were serious and that the KHL and NHL were about to throw down. But now the only player still holding out is Lubomir Visnovsky, which pretty much precludes any chance of a royal rumble. Visnovsky is just not the kind of player for whom the KHL will fight.

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